Thursday, August 30, 2012

What's "danger" to Food for Hunters?


For Food for Hunters, "danger" is wandering into Barnes and Noble. We walk in poor, we walk out even poorer. What will inspire us next?


Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The Will to Hunt's 2nd Annual Hit List Trail Cam Pic Contest

Our friend and fellow blogger Will Jenkins is a top-notch guy. An avid hunter and passionate outdoorsmen, Will dedicates much of his time to a program he created called Harnesses for Hunters. Believing that safety harnesses could mean the difference between life and death, he sends out free harnesses to hunters in need. We encourage you all to check out Harnesses for Hunters and help in any way you can. Link: http://www.thewilltohunt.com/p/harnesses-for-hunters.html

Photo property of The Will to Hunt.
With that said, The Will to Hunt is also running a trail cam contest! Send in your best trail cam photos. First prize winner gets $1,000 worth of prizes, gear from manufacturers such as Williams Knife Co., Hawke Optics, Campdog, RediEdge and more! For contest information, please visit: http://www.thewilltohunt.com/p/2nd-annual-hit-list-trail-cam-pic.html

Sunday, August 26, 2012

A True American Hero: Neil Armstrong

Neil Alden Armstrong
1930 - 2012

Today, our country mourns the death of a true American hero. Neil Armstrong, the first man to ever walk on the moon, has died at age 82 on Saturday, August 26th. 
 

Coining his famous words, "One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind," Armstrong made the universe a little bigger, our world a little smaller, and our minds limitless.

First man on the moon. July 20, 1969.


"Neil Armstrong was a quiet self-described nerdy engineer who became a global hero when, as a steely nerved pilot, he made... a small step onto the moon... The modest man who had people entranced and awed from almost a quarter-million miles away died Saturday at 82... The former astronaut's modesty and self-effacing manner never faded. Armstrong kept away from cameras." Friends said, "He didn't like being a novelty." "His genius was in his reclusiveness... He was the ultimate hero in an era of corruptible men." 

- The Orange County Register

 

Friday, August 24, 2012

Vietnamese Spring Rolls with Shrimp and Teal

If Vietnamese cuisine had a "fad" food, it would probably be spring rolls. But it's a fad that never seems to go away. Take a stroll down Little Saigon in Orange County, Calif. and you'll see spring rolls served in all kinds of restaurants. To Vietnamese people, spring rolls are as everyday as hamburgers are to Americans.
Every restaurant has its own secrets. Every family-owned business has its own special version. Here, we offer you a basic Vietnamese spring roll recipe, but filled with wild duck! Usually, spring rolls are made with ground pork or shrimp. But the concept allows for all kinds of filling combinations. It's kind of like a burrito, except more dainty and light (and healthy). Filled with fresh lettuce, crunchy cucumber and bright mint, spring rolls are perfect on a hot summer's day. We were quite happy with the way our spring rolls turned out. The grilled wild duck was tender and lent itself well to this dish. It's different, but worth a try. 


Servings: 4
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cooking Time: 5-10 minutes
Ingredients:
-  breasts from 4 wild ducks, so 8 (teal tastes best)
- 3 tbs. bbq sauce
- 1 tbs. olive oil
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 1/2 lb. medium fresh shrimp
- 1 large cucumber, or 2 Persian cucumbers (seeded and julienne) 
- 1 head of iceberg lettuce
- 1 cup fresh mint leaves
- Chinese chives
- 2 cups of cooked rice vermicelli
- 8 spring roll wrappers
Peanut Dipping Sauce
- 1 tbs. peanut oil
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup roasted peanuts, finely ground
- 1 tsp. chili garlic sauce, or to taste
-  3/4 cup chicken broth
- 1 1/2 tbs. peanut butter
- 1/3 cup hoisin sauce
- 1 tsp. sugar
- 1 tsp. fish sauce
- 1/2 tsp. crushed peanuts, for garnish 

This is what uncooked rice vermicelli looks like. It doesn't matter which brand you buy. There are thicker and thinner strands available. For spring rolls, we prefer thinner noodles. 
You will not need to cook the entire package for this recipe. We cooked only a quarter of the package, following the directions on the back. We suggest preparing the vermicelli at least an hour before assembling spring rolls. Unlike spaghetti, rice noodles take some time to air dry and to lose their slimy texture after being cooked. 
1. To make the peanut sauce, heat 1 tbs. of peanut oil in a small saucepan. Add 3 cloves of minced garlic and cook until golden brown. Drain and discard oil.
2. In a bowl, whisk together fried garlic, 1/2 cup of ground peanuts, 1 tsp. chili garlic sauce, 3/4 cup of chicken broth, 1-1/2 tbs. peanut butter...
1/3 cup of hoisin sauce, 1 tsp. sugar and 1 tsp. of fish sauce. When mixture is smooth, pour it into the saucepan and bring it to a boil over high heat. Allow to boil for 5 minutes, then simmer until thickened. Stir occasionally. Set aside to cool. Garnish with crushed peanuts.
3.  Prepare grill for direct heat cooking.

Remove as much silver skin as you can off duck breasts. 
Slice breasts thinly against the grain, on the bias. Look for shot. Mix in 3 tbs. of bbq sauce of your choice and 1 tbs. of olive oil. Add salt and pepper, to taste. Set aside. 
4. De-head and devein shrimp. You can grill the shrimp peeled or unpeeled. 
5. If you don't have a basket for the grill, you can always cook the duck in a pan. But grilling gives the duck a smoky flavor. 

Grill duck until cooked through, about 5-7 minutes. Turn occasionally.  Do not overcook.
Grill shrimp for 2 minutes on each side, or until cooked through and pink all over. Do not overcook.  
Peel shrimp, if you haven't already. Cut them in half along the length of their bodies, so that you have two halves for each shrimp. 
6. Prepare your veggies for assembly.  You can choose to cut lettuce into smaller pieces, or shred them. If you use regular cucumbers, peel them. No need to peel Persian cucumbers. 
7. To assemble, fill a large bowl with warm water. Grab a spring roll wrapper. 
Dip it into the water to wet all sides. No need to soak. Lay flat on a clean surface. 
If you get spring roll wrappers at an Asian market, they often come in packages that look like this. I've also seen them stored in clear plastic bags. They come in a variety of sizes, but try to get the bigger kind. 
8. Once the wrapper becomes pliable, lay some lettuce towards the bottom part of the wrapper, leaving enough space at the sides to fold over later. 
Then add some vermicelli...
Cucumber and mint leaves.  
Then add some duck pieces. Fold the sides over tightly and beginning to roll from the bottom. Lay down a piece of Chinese chive and roll over it. 
Continue rolling tightly. When you get halfway, place 3 pieces of shrimp with the pretty side down and roll over that.  
Voila! Rolls should be about 1 to 1 1/2 inches in diameter.
Even a white boy can do it!  :-)
Serve rolls with the peanut sauce for dipping. Enjoy! 








* * *

Since Rick shares a lot about his family with you, it's my turn! Below are a few photos I took from my trip back to Vietnam. I took this trip with my family in the summer of 2008. For those who don't know, I was born in Vietnam. I came to the United States when I was 2 years old. Even though I was born there, I can't say I remember much. Everything seemed so new and strange, yet there still was a feeling of the old and the familiar. Looking back, I am extremely thankful for that trip. I saw family that I didn't know I had. I saw places where I was told I had been, even though I held no recollections. That trip was a great chance for me to reconcile old ties and to form new ones. It was good to go back and see the place where I was born. I walked by the hospital of my birth almost everyday for three weeks. No doubt, a lot has changed. 

The ladies of the house cooking for a big family feast. This was my mom's side of the family. 
We had tons of chickens roaming the yard. 


They're not pets. 
Probably my favorite photo of Vietnam. It just kind of sums up everything. If you look at a map, you can see that much of Vietnam is touched by coastline. It's no wonder that the ocean is such an integral part of the country's economy and way of life. Yeah, there's commercial fishing. But many families in Vietnam still fish to feed their families or to make a little money in local markets. 
Went for a boat ride with my brother and cousin. I saw this man fishing with his make-shift boat and sail. People make do with what they have there. 
People raise crocodiles for meat in Vietnam. I ate a lot of different things there. Ostrich, frog legs, pigeon... 

I also had shark fin soup. I didn't see what the big deal was. Tasted like chicken broth. As far as I could tell, it was a waste of a good fish. 
 An old photo from a family album. One of my uncles. I don't know why we kept a deer, but we did. Doesn't make sense, because my grandfather hunted them too. My mom told me that they once kept a tiger in the back. It was a gift. My grandparents finally had to give it to the zoo.






 Well, thanks for checking out our recipe and our photos! If you haven't already been to our Facebook page, please do. We would love to hear your thoughts and opinions. 


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Side: Easy Baked Garlic and Parsley Potatoes

Whenever I go to my friend's house for dinner, I can bet these potatoes would be there. Her mom loves to serve these potatoes with prime rib steak, but it goes great with just about anything. It's one of those side dishes that really hits the spot. This is an easy, simple dish that could be quickly thrown together for any meal. We didn't exactly measure the ingredients, but it doesn't really matter. In our house, there's no such thing as too much garlic. For larger portions, just multiply the ingredients. There's no need to be exact. 


Prep Time: 10 minutes
Baking Time: 30 - 45 minutes
Ingredients: 
- red potatoes, cubed
- dried parsley, to taste
- 4 cloves of garlic for every 2 potatoes, finely chopped
- 2 shallots for every two potatoes, finely chopped
- sea salt, to taste
- freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
- olive oil 

Instructions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Mix diced red potato with parsley, garlic, shallot, salt and pepper. Drizzle generously with olive oil. Coat well. Lay ingredients in a baking sheet/dish. Cover with aluminum foil. Bake in the oven for 30 - 45 minutes, or until potatoes are tender. Uncover the last 10 minutes to brown. 


We served the potatoes with talapia filets, baked with olive oil, Herbes de Provence and red onion. Yum!!

If you made our Deer Stew w/Herbes de Provence, here's another way to use this seasoning. We know, we know-- it was kind of expensive.
Directions: 

Preheat oven to 350 degree F. Rinse filets in cold water. Dab dry with paper towels. Salt and pepper both sides. Sprinkle Herbes de Provence on both sides. Lay a slice of red onion on top. Bake for 15 - 20 minutes, or until fish is flaky and cooked through.




Sit tight. We're working on another game recipe. We will cook tonight!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

100th Birthday


Happy 100th Birthday to Julia Child! Who was an absolute delight. Thank you for showing the world the fun and fearless side of cooking, and that mistakes are just a part of everything.


Monday, August 13, 2012

Venison Steaks Stuffed with Crab

All natural, organic, killed-it-yourself deer steaks, stuffed high with fresh Red Rock Crab meat. Ahhhh... I think the heavens have just opened! Looking to impress someone? This recipe is it. And what's more, you don't even gotta spend fine dining dollars to make it. Seriously. Who doesn't like crab?... (except people allergic to shellfish).

You can use any crab you like. I grew up eating Dungeness and Red Rock crab with my family. They're not as pretty and expensive as snow crab, but I find them meatier and sweeter. If you want cheap, fresh seafood, go to an Asian supermarket, if you can. Avoid paying white people prices. (I'm joking, but it's true.) I bought 2 large Red Rocks for barely 11 bucks at $2.49/lb. You can't beat that anywhere!

For instructions on how to prepare crab, please read this post: How to Boil and Clean Crab

Servings: 4
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
Ingredients:
- 1 1/2 - 2 lbs. venison tenderloin (or enough for 4) 
- olive oil
- Kosher/sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
Crab Filling
- meat from 1 Dungeness/Red Rock crab (about 1 1/2 cups)
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 3 green onions, white and light green parts chopped
- 2 tbs. unsalted butter, melted
Cream Sauce
- 2 tbs. unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup onion, diced
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup of whiskey
- 1/2 cup of crab broth, strained through a cheesecloth (from boiled crab)
- 1/2 cup of heavy whipping cream
- 1/8 tsp. Old Bay Seasoning
- 1/8 tsp. paprika
- 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
- juice of half a lemon

-cooking twine

Our crab. They were HUGE! For instruction on how to cook and clean them, please read our last post on How to Boil and Clean Crab.

Cooking and cleaning the crab takes about 30 minutes.
1. To prepare crab filling, combine crab meat with 1/4 cup of grated Parmesan cheese, 3 chopped green onions and 2 tbs. of melted butter. Set aside.
2. For the sauce, melt 2 tbs. of unsalted butter over medium heat. Add 1/2 cup of diced onion and 1 minced garlic. Add a pinch of salt and cook until translucent and slightly browned. About 5 minutes.

Then, turn off burner. Carefully add 1/2 cup of whiskey to the pan. Turn heat back on to medium-high, and allow the alcohol to evaporate almost completely.
3. Next, lower heat back to medium-low. Add 1/2 cup of crab broth and 1/2 cup of heavy whipping cream. Allow sauce to simmer and reduce by half.
Once reduced, take the sauce off the heat. Blend in a food processor until smooth, or until the onion bits are no more. 

Return sauce to the pan.
4. Mix in 1/8 tsp. each of Old Bay Seasoning, paprika and cayenne.
Simmer on low to keep warm or to thicken further.
Squeeze in half a lemon just before serving.
5. To assemble steaks, butterfly tenderloin. Fill one side with crab filling. Flip the other side over, then secure snugly with cooking wine. 

Psssstttttt!.... To be honest, we used a roast. Nebraska deer is the best. It's tender regardless. 
Brush the outside with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, to taste. 
Grill until medium-rare to medium, about 5-7 minutes each side. 
Discard twine. Serve with cream sauce. Delicious!

We hope you enjoy this one! Please share our recipes with all your family and friends. Thanks! We appreciate you spreading the word. Stay cool.
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